How old should my child be to learn to ski?
Find out why it doesn’t matter what age your child is when they start skiing
During college, I worked at Park City Mountain Resort as a ski instructor for kids age 3-12 years old. Park City is a great ski resort and I learned a lot about teaching skiing and childhood development.
The biggest take away as my time as a ski instructor was that teaching skiing is all about creating positive associations with skiing. Age really isn’t a factor. This holds true with two year olds as it does for 22 year olds.
There really isn’t a “set age” that kids should start skiing.
This weekend we took our daughter up skiing for her first time. We cross-country skied up Millcreek and then let her ski down the hill at Elbow fork.
Here are a few individual factors you can consider when determining if your child is ready to ski.
- Personality – does your child love new things and adventure or do they struggle with new things? A child that is more timid may need additional instruction and motivations prior to hitting the slopes in order to make them comfortable. This can be done in a variety of ways, but something as simple as having them walk around in their ski boots around the home may help them get use to walking in new boots.
- Athletic ability – is your child a natural athlete or do they excel in individual sports or video games? Knowing this can help you relate their ski experience to something they can relate to.
- Socialization – how does your child adapt to new people? Like a ski instructor or class mates? Do they make friends easily? If your child makes friends easy and is comfortable in an environment where there are lots of new things, group ski lessons maybe a good fit for him. If your child does better in one on one situations then she may do better in private lessons.
We took our son skiing for the first time before his second birthday. For us it was more about creating a positive fun experience than seeing how many runs we could get in. We took two runs and then got hot chocolate at the lodge.
Creating positive associations for your child’s first ski experience is far more important than what age your child is. With positive encouragement and support, your child will learn to love skiing.
We’d love to hear from you: At what age did you learn to ski? At what age did you teach your child to ski?